Standoff ends outside Mobile Government Plaza; police say a gunman shot himself
UPDATE: 6:40 pm According to the Mobile Police Department, the suspect in today is dead.
MOBILE, Ala. (nothing) – The hours-long armed standoff in downtown Mobile ended around 3 p.m. Monday afternoon. The man who police say threatened to shoot himself and shot at officers outside Mobile Government Plaza was loaded onto a stretcher and placed in an ambulance.
MPD Chief Paul Prine said the man shot himself. He was taken by ambulance to the University Hospital. His condition was unclear.
This was after an armored police vehicle rammed the suspect’s car and pinned it in place against a pole. The police fired several rounds of tear gas at the car, as the man turned the wheels of the car in an attempt to leave the scene.
Moments later, the man was pulled from the car and responders immediately began CPR on the sidewalk.
Before 3 p.m., gunshots were heard at the scene of the affair that began five hours earlier. James Barber, chief of staff for the mayor’s office, told FOX10 News that the man in the car fired two shots at the officers. Barber described them as “provocative blows.” The police did not shoot.
The gunman then left the car and walked onto the sidewalk with a gun held to his head. After a few moments he got back into the vehicle.
The car was parked on the opposite side of Government Street from the big government building.
Police received a report around 10 am indicating a person inside the car, a silver Honda sedan, in front of the Plaza had suffered a gunshot wound. When emergency responders arrived to provide assistance, the man in the car held a gun to her head and threatened to shoot her, according to Mobile Police Cpl. Katrina Frazier.
Frazier said the SWAT unit and MPD negotiators responded.
Police earlier in the day said the situation was “contained” but advised citizens to stay away from the area.
Authorities at one time appeared to be using a loudspeaker to try to communicate with the person in the vehicle. Later, they hand him a phone.
Barber told FOX10 News just after 12:30 p.m. that mental health professionals in a nearby armored vehicle were able to establish communication with the gunman. He described the man as “uncooperative” throughout the morning.
Barber said the officers who initially responded noticed blood on the man inside the car and that they pulled over when he presented a firearm.
Prine at 12:45 pm said that authorities identified the man in the car and later confirmed that he was injured.
Prine said at the time that the gunman had only threatened to harm and had not made any threats to other law enforcement officers. The chief said police “can wait.”
He said, “Time is on our side at this point.”
After more than five hours and after the man had shot at the officers, however, the situation became more tense.
Through the ordeal, police led people away from Government Plaza. Government Street was blocked to traffic, and the Bankhead Tunnel was closed.
Mobile Fire-Rescue was on the scene. FBI officials were also observed at the scene.
The front doors to the Government Square closest to the scene were closed. The facility houses both the city and county courts, as well as the city and county government. Activities in the building were interrupted for the event.
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